*Update - 03/20/10 - When I originally put up the post the bulbs sold at Home Depot were N:Vision brand. That has now changed to EcoSmart brand. I believe this is the same light bulb (I've purchased both and they look identical). My guess is that Home Depot just decided to change packaging and branding.
Hopefully you've heard by now that I'm a fan of CFLs. I've heard many complaints about them, but I think some people are just basing their judgments on a bad experience they may have had with CFLs many moons ago.
The picture on the left shows the CFLs I purchase. I get them at Home Depot where a 4 pack costs $5.88. That's $1.47 a bulb. Not too bad if you ask me. They are 60 Watt equivalents yet only consume 14 Watts! If you want to see how the cost comparison works out over time, check my blog here on the cost comparison.
There are three different color varieties of the N:Vision brand of CFLs: soft white, bright white, and day light. The closest to the standard "Thomas Edison" bulb is the soft white. It has an image of a candle on the packaging, but I think it's a little misleading. The "soft white" is actually a tad bit brighter than your 60 Watt incandescent!
I've tried the other colors, but unless you like really bright, white light, stick with the soft white. The color on these bulbs is really hard to beat. I have the "day light" color in our home gym (I thought it would motivate me more) but my wife is not a fan at all and neither am I. Fortunately she likes the "soft white" color.
Some people complain that CFLs flicker or have a warm up time, but in all honesty, I have not had that problem with the "soft white" color in the year I have had them installed (the "bright whites" in the gym do have a few second warm up time). They work exactly like your normal light bulb. Screw them in, and Wa La! Other brands might be the same, but I haven't tried them.
Aside from saving energy, the only way they are different from your normal bulb is that if they have been on for a long time and you turn them off, you'll hear a small "pop" sound about 5 minutes after you hit the switch. I'd say that's one minor flaw considering how much these bulbs will save your wallet and the air you breathe.
Now the only downside is the small amount of mercury they contain, but as I stated in my blog here, this amount is extremely miniscule, and if disposed of properly poses no harm to you and your family. If you get most of your electricity from coal, you're doing greater harm by burning incandescents which emit more mercury into the air than the CFLs have in them!
Overall, if you are looking for a good quality 60 Watt light bulb equivalent, you won't go wrong with the n:vision "soft white" bulbs. And no, they aren't paying me to say this, I'm just a fan (although if they would like to pay me I won't turn down cash!).